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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Terracotta figure of a woman dancing.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 380BC (circa)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 25 centimetres
    • Width: 11.5 centimetres
    • Weight: 361 grammes
  • Bibliography

    • Terracotta 884 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    9 October 2006

    Treatment proposal

    Dismantle and reconstruct


    The object is in fair condition overall. There is dirt from excavation which covers the surface of the object. A white ground is present on the surface of the figure on top of which are 5 colours of pigment. These include : red, black, pink, orange and blue.

    The figure has been broken into three fragments at some point in the past and has been repaired using Shellac. The joins are unsightly and cover the pigmented surface.

    Treatment details

    The object was examined under the microscope at up to 40x magnification. The old Shellac joins were dismantled in an atmosphere of Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) in a glass dessicator with tissue support. The figure was left in the dessicator for two weeks. This softened the Shellac but did not dismantle it so IMS was applied to the joins using a fine brush. Once dismantled the edges of the joins were cleaned by removing the remains of the Shellac with a scalpel and then with IMS applied on a stencil brush.

    The excavation dirt was carefully removed using a scalpel blade under the microscope. The dirt was removed in this way to reveal the underlying pigment. Some areas of dirt were easlily removed using this method whilst others were more problematic. If the pigment was at risk, the dirt was left in situ.

    The object was re-joined using HMG heatproof and waterproof adhesive (cellulose nitrate).

    After cleaning and repair the location of any revealed pigment was plotted on a photograph. See images for further detail of pigments.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: GAA2210

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